Stupid gesturing character shuts down Boston

Some slang-talking marketing executives are cowering behind their aeron chairs after the entire city of Boston was shut down when little blinking electronic devices placed at key points throughout the city led to a bomb scare.

The circuit boards, featuring a rude gesturing character, were thought to be homemade detonating devices. It didn’t help that they were placed beneath the supporting beams of bridges and appeared decidedly unfriendly. Bomb squads were all over the things, and highways, bridges, and even part of the river was shut down.

It turns out it was all a bullshit guerilla marketing ploy for a show featured on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim called “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” The angry crude-looking character on the ads was a talking pixelated blob called Ignignokt that is featured on the show.

Two local guys who were hired to put the things around Boston, Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, were charged with two counts each of disorderly conduct and placing a “hoax device,” but it doesn’t seem like they should be held responsible, since they were just doing a job:

Berdovsky was arrested at 8:15 p.m. at his lawyer’s office. His lawyer’s name wasn’t available, and phone number believed to be Berdovsky’s did not accept messages.

Stevens was arrested at his home in Charlestown at about 11:30 p.m., Coakley said. It could not immediately be determined if Stevens had legal counsel.

Berdovsky and Stevens were to be arraigned Thursday in Charlestown District Court, Coakley said.

Berdovsky told The Boston Globe earlier Wednesday that he was an artist and installed the devices for an advertising company hired by Turner. He described himself as “a little kind of freaked out,” the Globe reported.

The law under which the two men were charged allows the state to pursue restitution. Mayor Thomas Menino said the security scare may have cost the city more than $500,000.

At least 14 of the devices were found, and at least 24 more are still around the city, officials said.

Turner Broadcasting issued an apology of course, and while Boston is pursuing the guys who were doing a job, it seems like the network should be liable to pay damages to the city.

Boston isn’t the only city infested with the suspicious blinking characters. Nine other cities throughout the U.S. including NY, LA, Chicago and Atlanta have had the devices up for at least two weeks without issue.

I’ve always had disdain for this type of marketing ploy. Surely some overpaid heads will roll at Turner after this incident.

Pictures from Yahoo!

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13 Responses to “Stupid gesturing character shuts down Boston”

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  1. Timperament says:

    ATHF does kick major ass…I want one of those circuit boards lol

  2. Sarah says:

    LOL!! I guess that’s just possible in the great land of the Free, isn’t it? ; ) No offense, really…

  3. Toubrouk says:

    Great publicity for a show that sucks…

    Oh well, let’s hope the broadcasting company will pick the bill for the police’s actions taken that day.

    After all, why the taxpayer need to pay for all this?

  4. chibarosa says:

    I’d like one too! I think it’s a great marketing idea. The other cities didn’t shut down because of this. Maybe they’re hip enough to watch Adult Swim and recognized Ignignokt — or is that Er? I love the Moononites.
    I agree that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay the cost of this little fiasco, but local officials need to recognize whether or not a device is a credible threat.

  5. Other Karen says:

    Those are the cutest “bombs” I’ve ever seen.

    I don’t know–if I was going to bomb a city, I wouldn’t decorate the bombs with lots of blinking lights that would call attention to them.

  6. Shelby says:

    i really enjoyed the boston scareathon this year… lol.. it gave comedians and myself a lot of material to work with… god bless america and ATHF!!

  7. Mr. T says:

    Lack of intelligence by city officials is what the problem is. If any kid would see it, they’d know what it is. Also, they were up for 2 weeks before the city officials got to them. Again, over-reaction and knee-jerk justice is what we have displayed here. CN may not be the brightest tool in the shed but for this gimmick to shut down the city of Boston makes me think the idiots running the city have baked beans in their scattered brains!

  8. Ginny says:

    Whether the advertising or idea is stupid or not, Boston reacted like retards. Bombs? Seriously? They’d been there for weeks, and if they asked around before they freaked out I’m sure they could have figured out they were from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, not terrorists.

    The knee-jerk restrictive reactions about stuff like this in this country is really starting to piss me off. How much of our humor, advertising, or drinking (as in liquids on planes) rights are we going to have to give up for “security”? I agree terrorism is a threat, but what they’re doing isn’t making safer, it’s making it LOOK like it’s safer, while costing American’s money and freedom in stupid incidents like this. I wish they’d actually do things to make it safer, not make it a pain in the butt for innocent Americans, like the two guys they picked up on this. They were just doing a job, and now they’re having to pay for lawyers and such. I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up on some black list because of it, either.

    Sorry, that kind of ended up being a rant. I thought the signs were funny, and that Boston was being ridiculous.

  9. celebitchy says:

    You guys are right that officials overreacted, and I was too focused on calling the stunt stupid to realize that it was also pretty asanine of the city not to investigate first before freaking out and shutting down everything. I didn’t know the lights were up for two weeks before they were found either. The article made it sound like they were new to Boston, but had been up for two weeks in other cities.

  10. Miranda says:

    This is the funniest thing ever, I can’t even believe how square people are. The way the media is covering this story is completely idiotic. These things are no more than battery powered lite brights of cartoon characters. It’s a “device” the way a lamp is a device.

    The cartoon network is brilliant. Why would you or anyone suggest that someone get fired over this? If anyone should get fired it’s the city officials of Boston, and the money this cost should be taken out of their paychecks. This is a hilarious advertising campaign, not a “prank”. Give me a break, celebitchy. If some idiot misread something you published in your blog and did something expensive and stupid should they be able to sue you for the money and blame you for their stupidity?

  11. celebitchy says:

    I hear you Miranda, and like I said I was misinterpreting the uber-serious reports I read about it. My dislike of stupid catchphrase marketing ploys colored my judgment on this one.

  12. Caygill says:

    How fucking retarded can some of you _war_on_terror_yanks_ really be? How can anyone take you seriously?